Lobby Watch 27 February 2014
YouTube shut down the account that posted the original video. A new copy of the video should has appeared online and is viewable above. CODEPINK tweeted the new instance of the video:
The anti-war campaign group CODEPINK says the powerful Israel lobby organization AIPAC is threatening to sue it over this video clip, a satirical version of an AIPAC policy conference promotional video.
“On 25 February, an AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] member called a CODEPINK staffer threatening legal action in response to a controversial video clip that he alleges was made by the peace group CODEPINK,” a CODEPINK press release states.
The video features real footage from AIPAC conferences interspersed with images of Israeli abuses of Palestinian rights, and voiceovers from supposed conference-goers.
One of the voices says “It’s exciting to see so many people together who understand that sometimes you have to violate other people’s human rights if you want to take their land.”
CODEPINK does not say if it made the video but the group’s co-founder Medea Benjamin commented:
It is absurd for AIPAC to threaten legal action over such an obviously satirical video. It is interesting that they are reacting so strongly to the clip, though. Perhaps it’s because the content is really an accurate reflection of AIPAC’s dangerous foreign policies. AIPAC does, in fact, advocate for bombing countries such as Iran and Syria; it fails to condemn Israel’s continued building of settlements and its human rights abuses against Palestinians; and it lobbies Congress to send billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel to continue the occupation of Palestine. … What are they trying to hide by silencing this video?”
CODEPINK spearheads annual protests at AIPAC’s policy conference. The Electronic Intifada sent an inquiry to AIPAC’s media office and this post will be updated if a response is received.
Permalink Al Sheeber replied on
Clever by half?
Under what legal theory?
Permalink Robin Messing replied on
So under what legal theory do they intend to sue? Are they saying this video infringes on their copyright? Or are they saying that CodePink libeled them?
I'm not a lawyer, but if they are accusing CodePink of copyright infringement, then this looks like a pretty clear cut case of Fair Use.
It is very difficult to win a libel case in situations like this. Not impossible, but there are many hurdles to surmount. But in any case, AIPAC would have to be crazy to sue because of the Streisand effect. Nothing would draw public attention to the role AIPAC plays in influencing American foreign policy than a lawsuit intended to shut its critics up. Now, maybe AIPAC wants that attention. I'm not sure I would want it if I were in their shoes, but maybe AIPAC sees things differently than I do. (Well, I know that in regards to what is in the U.S. national security interest and what is a decent and moral policy AIPAC DOES think very differently than I do.)
Permalink Greg Hudson replied on
As a former Combat Soldier, I feel that nothing is more dangerous to the future of the U.S. than the support of the rogue Zionist state of Israel. The human rights violations that they continue to commit makes my blood boil and to watch our leadership hand over our soldiers lives and trillions ( 4 trillion) of U.S. Taxpayer money to them, makes me unstable and is changing the trajectory of my path. We have to stop them, America has to wake up, some has to take a stand for our country.
"haven't bombed Syria"? Uh -
Permalink Steve replied on
"haven't bombed Syria"? Uh - yes - Israel has bombed Syria.
to the retired soldier
Permalink stevieb replied on
...I'm happy to read your views on just how serious the Zionist problem in America really is. I hope that these views are becoming more common amongst all of America's military people. What's your view on this? I feel educating our military people ( I'm in Canada) is paramount to saving our respective nation's futures...is there a way to discuss these issues with U.S military personnel on the net?